Sunday, June 15, 2014

End of the Year Activities and Summer Plans

Hello Teachers!

It is exciting to do a summer post, as I am sure everyone is wrapping up the year and transitioning into all we do in the summertime. This summer is an especially special summer for me. I get married in just 5 days… This Saturday! I am so excited, but I’ve never felt busier. We are also moving into our first home together in a little townhouse we are renting. It seems like complete chaos right now, but I know it will all be beautiful as we begin our lives together. We are traveling to Bora Bora for our honeymoon. The adventures and the bungalows are so romantic. The land looks amazing! I can hardly make it through a 2 hour flight, so it will be very interesting to experience 17.5 hours of travel time each way. I am really excited because a few of my students will be attending my wedding ceremony. When I get nervous from everyone staring at me as I walk down the aisle, I hope I see the smiling faces that I am used to seeing each day! Isn’t it so sweet how second graders always love everything about their teacher and want to share so much life with them?

I thought I would share a few favorites that stood out with my group of students this year as end of the year activities.

-Secret Friends: Each child drew a name of another student in the class. All week this was their “secret friend.” They spent the week doing random acts of kindness and giving compliments to this friend. They also created an “Awesome Award” for that person. They wrote why that friend is awesome and decorated the outside of the award. On the last day of school, we had an awesome award ceremony where each child was given his/her award and celebrated as an individual.

-Turtle Talk: Each child wore a paper plate on his/her back. The other students anonymously wrote words, phrases, and compliments that described that person. At the end, the students took of their shells and read what their classmates appreciate about them. It is something they can keep and treasure.

-Many students need closure during this transition out of one grade and into another. I read the students A House for Hermit Crab. This book is about a hermit crab that keeps outgrowing his shell. Each time he gets bigger, he needs a new shell. The students made a connection that they too have outgrown their second grade shell and will find a new shell in third grade. We talk about how younger students will come to their old second grade shell and learn here. We wrote letters to the incoming first graders about some of the best things they will experience in second grade. It was a great source of reflection and a positive way for those kiddos who just want to stay forever to see the change!

In addition to getting married, I thought I would share my professional goals and plans for the summer. My past few summers, much of my learning has come from experience with children such as tutoring or teaching summer courses. This year, I am going to spend more of time researching and attending workshops. I plan to read Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probsy. We are using a new reading curriculum next year, Schoolwide. I love Kylene Beers so my goal is to build background knowledge as I begin to study and implement this new resource. I am also studying Lucy Calkins newest Units of Study and attending a Writing Intensive Teacher’s College 4-day conference to expand my knowledge of instructional strategies, assessment, and resources as it relates to literacy. I am attending a technology day hosted by teachers from around my district. They are sharing/modeling how they use technology in their classrooms. Finally, I am attending a two-day workshop on math rotations and differentiation hosted by a fabulous teacher from my district. I am so excited about all the opportunities, and I look forward to sharing my learning with you as the summer progresses. What are your plans for the summer?

Last, my blogging partner, Crystal, from Once Upon a Classroom: Tales of Two Teachers, was so sweet to celebrate my bachelorette party with me last weekend. I thought I would post a picture of the fun we had painting canvases!

Happy Summer!


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